December 3, 2010
‘Loudspeakers can be operated’: PM Gonsalves

The issue of loudspeakers being used during elections was further addressed on Thursday, November 25, 2010, as Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves weighed in on the laws surrounding the use of loudspeakers, which had been spoken about earlier by top officials of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF).{{more}}

Addressing students during the handing over ceremony of cheques of $500 to successful CSEC, A level and GCE students, Gonsalves stated that he has much respect for the members of the police force. He added that he had to clear up the issue, as many persons believe that as Minister of National Security, he is responsible for the decisions made by the RSVGPF.

In a press conference on Wednesday, November 24, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ekron Lockhart stated that according to the Noise Act, loudspeakers cannot be used between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am; and they should only be used between the hours of 12 noon and 1 pm and between 4 and 6 pm for the purpose of conducting meetings, events or business advertisements.

Referring to the law, Gonsalves noted while this was true, a section of the law permits the use of loudspeakers in certain circumstances. Reading from the law, he said a loudspeaker can be operated if it does not cause annoyance to the people in the vicinity.

Gonsalves expressed that surely it cannot be an annoyance for political parties and supporters to promote their political candidates via a loudspeaker. He, however, stated that according to the law, using obscene or insultive language on a loudspeaker is a criminal offense and that police officers can deal with persons guilty of such acts according to the law.(OS)